Lorraine Evangelista will conduct feasibility testing of two behavioral fitness-intensive therapies. Steve Zylius / UCI

Lorraine Evangelista, professor and interim associate dean of Academic & Student Affairs in the Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing, was awarded an exploratory/developmental research grant by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging (R21AG053162) for her study entitled, “Fitness Intensive Therapy (Get FIT) to Promote Healthy Living in Older Adults.” The award totals nearly $425,000 and will fund the feasibility testing of two behavioral Fitness Intensive Therapies: Get FIT and Get FIT+. Get FIT includes Lose It©, an mhealth-based intervention, plus a wearable Fitbit® device to monitor physical activity patterns. Participants will be monitored for three months and given one 45-minute behavioral counseling session focused on healthy eating and exercise. The Get FIT+ participants will receive all of the program elements included in Get FIT, along with personalized text messaging from a health coach. The study will include adults 60-years and older and at risk for cardiovascular disease. Researchers will measure the impact of Get FIT vs. Get FIT+ on diet and physical activity, clinical outcomes, psychosocial well-being, patient engagement, and recruitment and retention rates at three and six months, in preparation for a larger randomized clinical trial.